People want to connect and interact with experiences. If they can’t, then the experience needs to be cheap and convenient. Convergence between devices through couch commerce is only the first waive of they way this analytical generation wants to consume experiences from brands. Whether it is in film, TV, Snapchat, Meerkat or the mall content creators and brands need to recognize the death of linear across formats, and partner to regain the consumers imagination and attention.
First the only linear experience worthwhile still to consumers are live experiences… concerts, sports and catastrophes. CNN, the catastrophe news network, has been replaced by Twitter for first knowledge and viewing. The irony is just as CNN could not iterate beyond that value proposition, neither can Twitter. Technology is even encroaching on the concert experience.
Using Meerkat U2 is now live streaming the shows from the bands vantage point. I can now tune in from wherever I am in the world with a data connection and watch Bono. Quello is an app that is now rebroadcasting concerts as well.
Second cheap and convenient. Amazon surpassed Walmart as the word’s largest retailer in July of 2015 with its cyber black Friday event. Consumers are shifting spending away from malls as the way to procure necessities. Malls are failing. Of the 1,325B square feet of covered mall space in the US, it is estimated that one third of it is dead or dying.
At the same time, the way brands traditionally get people to buy by going into malls is failing. The TV was the best thing to cure boredom… before the smartphone connected to the internet and social networks. Having people spend hours watching shows with linear TV we all know is failing. When the experience stops becoming interactive to that individual we now have the option to opt out of it. Whether it’s at the mall, in a meeting, listening to me speak, Church, in front of our own television or in a movie theater… we all now opt out to when it doesn’t involve us anymore. This is why we are tethered to our smartphones.
So we move towards technologies that enhance the experience with second screens. Second screens give consumers the ability to make linear experiences exponential. They give them the ability to turn something passive into an active experience. We have also begun to do this with c-tailing, something we coined at NCR in 2009, and omni-channel retailing.
Content will save the mall with interactive experiences. This is the next fortune to be made by content producers. Marry social shopping with physical and augmented experiences that involve purchasing experiences along with the physical items that go along with it.
People are happiest when they buy experiences. Imagine a world where you buy the experience and the souvenir is your new suit. Or you get to test drive a BMW M3 the Mission Impossible way, but without the consequences.
The future of content monetization is to help reinvent the offline shopping experience. Just as it seems silly to do the Blockbuster Friday night “perp walk,” Immersive experiences will replace the way consumers navigate a mall today.